Thursday, August 13, 2009

An Armchair Visit to Cape Cod

Cape Cod – the “bared and bended arm of Massachusetts. The shoulder is at Buzzard’s Bay; the elbow, or crazy bone, at Cape Mallebarre; the wrist at Truro; and the sandy fist at Provincetown.” H. D. Thoreau

Do you like to read travel memoirs? Or books by folks who live in a certain area and want to share a love of their surroundings with you? Here are a group of titles about our near-by Massachusetts neighbor, Cape Cod. If you have never been there, used to go there as a child, or just like to be an “armchair” traveler, these books should give you a sense of the Cape and its culture. Two picture books begin our list.

Cape Cod National Seashore by Andrew Borsari
This is a small book, recently published that presents full color photographs of the national treasure that is Cape Cod accompanied by literary quotations. A little gem.
Thoreau’s Cape Cod (with early photographs of Herbert W. Gleason) is based on Henry David Thoreau’s long essay on Cape Cod and is illustrated with some fascinating, early black and white photographs.

Special Places On Cape Cod and the Islands by Robert Finch has very few photographs, but contains some wonderful essays about some very unique Cape Cod locales.

For those of you who really want to really dig deep, The Enduring Shore: A History of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket by Paul Schneider is a thoroughly researched and complete history of the entire area.

And to conclude, two titles that are more memoir than travel guide -
The Salt House: A Summer on the Dunes of Cape Cod by Cynthia Huntington tells of the special feeling the author has for her small, unique “house,” and
A Walk on the Beach by Joan Anderson is more about the feelings of peace and satisfaction two women found by simply walking on the beach together.

Henry David Thoreau said it best, “a man may stand there and put all America behind him.”



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